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Three Words to Avoid When Selling Your Side of the Deal

Julie Broad
3 min read

arms crossed dreamstime 137119111Everything is going great. The tenant buyer is nodding and smiling. Her body language is open and relaxed and every indication is that she likes what you have to say. Then, almost suddenly her arms fold across her chest and she starts to turn towards the door, and says “Ok – thank you. I have to think about this.

What happened? You were sure she was ready to sign up for this beautiful four bedroom, three bathroom home that’s within walking distance to two levels of schooling in the city.

It’s possible you unleashed one of these deal killing words on your prospect. All it takes is one wrong word and the last sound you’ll hear is the door you worked so hard to open, closing with a bang!

We know of a handful of words that can cause the door to slam. There are probably many others that we’ve yet to uncover. They are sometimes hard to find because these little deal killing words, are hidden in every day common conversations. You would never notice them if you weren’t watching and observing body language changes and listening carefully for the REAL questions within the questions your prospect is asking you.

I thought I would share some of the words we’ve recently discovered that can send a prospective tenant buyer running out  of even the most beautiful home and into the arms of another rent to own company or rental option.

1. Down Payment

When you are doing lease options or rent to own deals, you will typically require your tenant buyer to provide a down payment. We usually ask for approximately 2% of the future purchase price of the home as a down payment. People who’ve previously been home owners are comfortable with us calling it a down payment but others get squeamish. It feels a bit like their rental deposit that was never return to them in full for various reasons and suddenly their thoughts turn to the risk of losing that money.

Instead of calling it a down payment try calling it an initial investment in the home. Investment is a positive word and renters like to see themselves as investing instead of throwing their money away on rent or a rent deposit that is somewhat at the mercy of a picky landlord.

2. Sign the Contract

Nothing sends more shivers down my spine than thinking about dealing with contracts. I immediately get tired thinking about reading the legal jargon. I also think about how I will probably have to have my lawyer review the contract and think about how that will cost me money.

We call it the “Option to Purchase Agreement” which sounds much less intimidating. However, we’ve noticed, we have lost the odd tenant buyer when we’ve called to set up a time to “sign the contract”.

I think we probably scared them away with the word contract and our need to have them sign it. When we’ve called to set up a time to “review the agreement” or “go over the paperwork” we haven’t encountered the same issue.

3. Buy

I admit I haven’t tested this out yet but I recently heard a sales tip from Tom Hopkins saying that salespeople should never use the word “buy”. They should instead speak about “owning” something. For example, instead of saying “in two years when you buy this home from us”, we should say “when you own the home in two years”. It feels positive and also puts the tenant buyer in the mindset of being owners. And, let’s face it, nobody likes to be sold but we all like to own so it makes sense.

We are showing our latest property this evening to a handful of prospect tenant ‘owners’ so we are going to try and insert the word own where ever we feel compelled to use the word buy and see if it makes a difference.

It might seem silly to say that a single word or a tiny phrase can change your results but it’s like the Chinese proverb “A bad word whispered will echo a hundred miles“. The wrong word at the wrong time can lose your prospect forever. Try avoiding these words and see if your results improve. In my experience – it will make a difference!

Image credit: © Robert Kneschke | Dreamstime.com

Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.